Mark Hickok Named as New District Director

mark photo

The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District has selected Mark Hickok as the new District Director.  Mark comes to us from Redmond WA, where he has served as the Recreation Division Manager for the last four years. Mark is replacing Lori Stirn as District Director. “I am honored to be awarded this opportunity. Hood River is an amazing community with unique Parks & Recreation opportunities. Lori Stirn has done an outstanding job leading this district for the last 15 years and her legacy will live on in this community for many years to come. I hope to continue to partner with other agencies to make Hood River Valley an great place to live.“ Hickok said.

Mark and his family will be relocating to Hood River later this month.

A native of Everett, Washington Mark received his Bachelor of Science degree in Parks and Recreation Management from North Arizona University.

Mark brings a wide variety of talent to the District with exceptional budgeting skills, unique cost recovery models for recreation programs, partnerships, and community outreach.  His experiences as Recreation Division Manager for Redmond, Washington, Recreation Superintendent for the City of Moses Lake, Washington, and Recreation Coordinator for the City of Flagstaff, Arizona has enabled him to develop a well-rounded background and passion for the Parks and Recreation profession.

Mark was selected after a nationwide search.

Park District President, Greg Davis “I am pleased to share that Mark Hickok has accepted our offer for the District Director position!”


Hood River Parks and Recreation District is hiring!

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District

Job Announcement

District Director of Parks and Recreation

Closing date August 11, 2016, 5pm



The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is seeking a dynamic, seasoned professional to lead the Parks and Recreation District. This is an exciting executive leadership opportunity.


Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is located in Hood River County, 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon.  The District is in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area and includes Mount Hood and its National Forest.  The area is world-renowned for its beauty and outdoor recreation.  It is among the top-ranked areas in the world for windsurfing, kiteboarding and sailing.  Mount Hood is one of the few mountains to offer year round opportunities for the snow enthusiast. Other outdoor recreationalists enjoy kayaking, cycling, mountain biking, hiking and much more.   The area is routinely recognized for its outstanding recreation, quality of life, fine restaurants, breweries and wineries as well as family friendly amenities. The Park District is within easy driving distance of major national parks, the Pacific Ocean, the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges, and the urban centers of Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.


The Park District operates under a 5 member board of Directors elected for staggered 4 year terms.  The Parks and Recreation Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the direction, administration, and management of the District’s aquatic center, parks, recreation, and business operations.


Desirable Qualifications

The District is looking for an individual with strong leadership skills who has significant experience working in parks and recreation; preferably a special district. Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree (preferably in parks, recreation, or administration), and at least 5 years progressively responsible management experience. A master’s degree and Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification is an advantage as well as knowledge and experience with Oregon’s unique land use laws and Aquatic facility operations.


Priorities of the new Director

  • Update the Parks and Recreation Master plan and Capital Improvement Plan that includes an update of the System Development Charges methodology.
  • Develop Golden Eagle Park with School District and County MOU’s
  • Explore the feasibility of expanding the Aquatic Center
  • Maintain essential partnership with the Public Schools district, Port of Hood River, City of Hood River and the County.
  • Develop master plan for Barrett Park
  • Pursue stable source of funding for ongoing maintenance and cost tracking accounting





Constrained resources require new approaches and alternative funding models.  The time may be right to explore a Parks District operations and maintenance levy.



The business of parks and recreation has become increasingly more complex with fluctuations in the economy, rising operating and maintenance costs, increases in the state minimum wage, aging infrastructure and shifts in societal demands.

As backyards shrink and people (and their pets) look for more places to gather, find solitude and recreate, our parks become even more essential to communities.

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District faces the challenge of balancing the public’s enjoyment of natural resources with the conservation of these assets, and finding the optimum mix of land acquisition, development, preventative and proactive maintenance.


The Ideal Candidate

For this important role the District seeks an experienced, unifying leader who is deeply committed to the success of the District and is a strategic big-picture thinker. The ideal candidate will have a passion for public service and will lead by example to gain the confidence of the public and staff. Integrity that aligns with the District’s organizational values is essential and the desire and capability to lead a team in implementing innovative operations and programs.


The preferred candidate will have experience and demonstrated success in the following areas:


  • Visionary and strategic leadership.
  • Customer service and the ability to mentor, coach and direct the work of staff.
  • Thorough knowledge of the objectives and ideals of public recreation, including a comprehensive understanding of the diverse activities of a successful community recreation program.
  • Knowledge of available outdoor recreation and related grants and other funding approaches to stretch District resources.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of park management associated with a special district in Oregon.
  • Ability to develop a creative strategy for maintaining high quality programs and services.
  • Cultural competency that enables effective working relationships in cross-cultural situations.
  • Successful planning, implementation and oversight of new park
  • Forming and maintaining public-private partnerships and knowledge of innovative funding approaches.
  • Integrity, honesty, compassion, courage, optimism, and good judgment – particularly in situations characterized by disagreement, conflict, tension, and uncertainty.
  • Creative problem solver, bringing fresh ideas and a progressive approach.


Total Compensation

Full-time position with an annual salary range as $75,000-$95,000; depending on qualifications and experience. The District offers a competitive benefit package including a stipend for family health and vision insurance, as well as vacation and sick leave. The district participates in an independent retirement system.



Application Process

Persons Interested in this position should submit the following information:

  • Cover letter
  • Salary history
  • Current resume
  • 3-5 references

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call or e-mail Lori Stirn at 541-386-5720 or


This position will remain open until filled. In order to be considered for the first round of interviews please submit your application by the August 11th deadline.  E-mails are acceptable.  Send to


Selection timeline

  • July 21st, 2016: Job announcement posted
  • August 11th: closing date for applications
  • August 5-8: review of applications
  • August 18th -19th: interviews * tentative meet and greet.
  • August 29th -30: interviews if needed + final selection
    • Reference checks
  • September 26th: desired start date

Request for Proposals


Bids due July 13, 2016. Notice is hereby given the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District

(“HRVPRD” or “District”) is requesting sealed proposals from qualified contractors for this project.

Proposals must be received by 2:00 PM July 13th at the Hood River Aquatic Center 1601 May Ave.

Hood River Oregon 97031. Proposals received after the designated time and date will be returned

unopened. All proposals received prior to the due date and time will be publicly opened and read on

the due date and time in the Hood River Aquatic Center’s conference room. Proposals may not be

submitted electronically. HRVPRD reserves the right to reject any bid not in compliance with this

Request for Proposal or in compliance with all prescribed public contracting procedures and

requirements, and may reject for good cause any or all bids upon a finding that it is in the public

interest to do so, and to waive any and all information in the best interest of the District. HRVPRD is

not liable for any costs incurred by the proposer for the proposal preparation or presentation.

Copies of the RFP documents may be obtained HERE.

or by contacting Scott Baker, Assistant Director
at or by phone at (541) 386-1303.

Published May 31, 2016.

Community Meeting for Golden Eagle Park Improvements

The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District will be having a public meeting to discuss

proposed park improvements at Golden Eagle Park and the High School Baseball fields. We

have scheduled two community meetings. The meetings will be on Thursday, June 2nd at

6pm as well as Tuesday, June 7 th at 6pm. They will both be held at the Ty Taylor Fire Station

Community Room at 1785 Meyer Parkway.

The District is hoping to get input and ideas for developing the existing Golden Eagle Park. This

could include parking areas, new recreation opportunities, sports courts, bike skills area, fitness

elements and other amenities.

If you are unable to attend or for more information call Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation

District, District Director, Lori Stirn at 541-386- 5720; .

Attached is a preliminary plan.

Golden Eagle Site Plan Klein

Trail Tour!

There will be an Indian Creek trail tour led by board members at 4:30pm.  If you are interested in taking the tour, please meet at Dutch Bros. Coffee at 4:30pm!

City Council Dog Park Presentation

The Park District will be asking the HR City Council for permission to construct a Dog Park on City and Port property adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant on Monday March 28th at 6pm.  Please attend if you support or have concerns with this proposal!
You may also contact Scott Baker with questions at (541) 386-1303.

Meeting for Water Polo Parents Slated For Thursday, February 18 at 5:30pm

The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District will hold a meeting for water polo parents in the Hood River Fire Department meeting room on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 5:30pm.

This informational meeting and will cover the following topics:

  • How the Park District operates and makes decisions, including pool usage;
  • Answers to frequently asked questions posed by water polo parents and participants;
  • Spring afternoon and evening allocations;
  • Proposed solutions, conditions, expectations and challenges; and
  • Time for additional public question and answer period.

Below are a sampling of the considerations the District staff take when determining lane allocations.

Lane Allocation Considerations

  • District staff will prioritize lane space based on the following concepts:
    • The overall liability and the safety of patrons will be taken into account.
    • District programming will take precedence over other programming.
    • High school team sports will be given preference.
      • Safety implications will be considered, however, when determining when the group uses the facility.
      • Previous year’s lane allocation will be considered.
    • School programming (swim lessons, PE classes) will be given preference throughout the school day, and only as available after school.   There are middle school PE classes that run the last period of the day and would conflict with user groups having a practice that falls within school hours.
    • The historical seniority of programs will be taken into context, as well as year round versus part time programming.  Water polo has been a part time program since its inception, running its club program from January through July.
    • Non-profits will be given preference over for-profit. Although the District will consider requests to dedicate pool space for private business (LLC, private coaching, physical therapists , etc), it must not unduly limit public access to the pools or conflict with and or limit District programming.
    • The rosters of each program and daily attendance of each program will be examined by District staff to determine whether or not a program is allocated more or less space.
  • These considerations are based on SDAO (Special District Associations of Oregon)input, other like facilities in the state’s successful programs, and the current Park District group rental policy.
  • Both programs are growing and have high numbers.
    • HRVST: 100  registered swimmers and not accepting anymore  8 and unders until spring
    • HRWP: 74 registered players with new registrants daily
  • Keeping water polo and swim team at the same time won’t allow either team to grow.
  • Water polo play extends beyond its field of play and goes wall to wall.
    • Water polo balls regularly go in the bleachers and hit walls.
    • Our pool configuration doesn’t allow for safe passage onto the deck.
  • With multiple programs running at the same time, the facility is extremely noisy, making it difficult for coaches and swim lesson teachers to be heard.
  • Having the two user groups practice at different times allows for public use of the recreation pool for lap swimming and open swim as well as the opportunity to expand our District programming.

Conclusion for Spring Allocation

  • HRVST will continue to practice from 3:30-6pm every weeknight.
  • The splash ball program will continue to practice after school two days per week from 3-4pm.
    • To be consistent with safety, they will be allocated an additional lane (5 total), so that the safety netting can be used.
  • District swim lessons will take place in the therapy pool and recreation pool on Monday and Wednesday evenings and additional classes will be added for our wait lists.
  • The facility will close to the general public at 7pm.
  • The middle school and senior water polo program will practice in the evening, beginning at 7pm, with the ability to run their programs until 9pm.  They will be allocated all 10 lanes, will be allowed to use the throwback net and balls on deck, which has not been allowed in the past,provided they are for drills and used in a safe manner.

Pool Use Fees:

Currently, the District does not charge HRVST, CGM or HRWP for its pool space.  Rather, individuals within the program must maintain a punch card, three month or annual pass with the District.  Keeping track of individual attendance can be challenging, and inevitably some people get missed checking in.  We are currently evaluating a charge per lane and hoping to implement by July 1, 2016.


Water Polo Research: When & Where Other Programs are Practicing Currently

Water Polo Group In Season practice all groups (weekdays) Practice Weekends Facilities Used (#) Additional Comments
Lake Oswego Elite M-Th 7:30-9:30 Intermediate M,W 6:30-8 Beginner Th 7-8 Sun 3:30-4:30 1  Use school district pool in evenings
Eugene City 7-10pm Sat 3:45-5:15 4  Utilize many facilities
Tualatin Hills 6:30-10pm M-Th, F 6-8pm  Sat 10am-12pm  1  50 meter pool
Bend Waves 6:30-8:30pm Na 1 Huge facility (2 pools)
Chehalem 3-6pm or 7-8:30pm Na 1 Opens early 5:30am and closes late 10pm
Ashland 4-6:00 M, W, F and 7 – 9:30 T,TH Na 4 Separate summer facility.
Tigard/Tualatin  Club not operating 2
Oregon Empire  2 hour stretches between 3pm and 9pm  Winter games10-8 2  Two large facilities and outdoor options utilized
Blue Crush  M&F 6:30-8:30pm, T&Th 5-7pm na  1  Uses Parkland HS pool
Willamette Valley  6-9pm Tue, 6-8pm Wed  Sat- 8am-12pm, 6-8pm; Sun 1-5pm and Masters 7:15-9:15  4  Separate summer facility







Water Polo Research:  A Look Across the Seasons


Water Polo Club/Group Fall Practice Winter Practice Spring Practice Summer Practice Summer Facility
Lake Oswego Na Sun 3:30-4:30pm and 7-8pm Elite M-Th 7:30-9:30pm Intermediate M,W 6:30-8pm Beginner Th 7-8pm Elite M-Th 7:30-9:30pm Intermediate M,W 6:30-8pm Beginner Th 7-8pm
Eugene City Na M-Th:7-10pm and Sat 3:45-5:15pm M-Th: 7-10pm and Sat 3:45-5:15pm M-Th 3:45-5:15pm (May-June); M/W 8:30-10pm, T/Th 7-8:30pm (July-August)  Amazon Pool
Tualatin Hills Na Youth:T/Th 7-8:30pm, Friday 6-8pm

and M/W 6:30-9pm, T/Th 7:30-9pm, Friday 6-8pm

HS: M-Th8-10pm,

Youth:T/Th 7-8:30pm, Friday 6-8pm

and M/W 6:30-9pm, T/Th 7:30-9pm, Friday 6-8pm

HS: M-Th8-10pm,

 Youth:T/Th 7-8:30pm, Friday 6-8pm

and M/W 6:30-9pm, T/Th 7:30-9pm, Friday 6-8pm

HS: M-Th8-10pm,

Bend Waves Na 6:30-8:30pm M&W-7:30 to 8:30 Tu&Thu-6:30-8:30 M&W-7:30 to 8:30 Tu&Thu-6:30-8:30
Chehalem 8:30-10:30am and 3-6pm M&Th 7-8:30pm M-F 3-4:30pm Na, fall starts in august and spring ends in June
Ashland Na 4-6:00 M, W, F and 7 – 9:30 T,TH 4-6:00 M, W, F and 7 – 9:30 T,TH 4-6:00 M, W, F and 7 – 9:30 T,TH Daniel Meyer pool
Willamette Valley Na Sat 7:15-9:15 Masters  6-9pm Tue, 6-8pm Wed;  6-9pm Tue, 6-8pm Wed; Olinger Pool
Tigard/Tualatin Club not operating
Oregon Empire Na  Youth only, 6:30-7:30pm 4:30-6:30 Barlow and 7:15-9:15 MHCC 1:30-4pm M-Th and 3-5pm Fri
Blue Crush Na  na   T/Th 5-7pm; M/F 6:30-7:30  T/Th 5-7pm; M/F 6:30-7:30